Once Upon a Time: The Summer

It wasn’t just a summer. It was the summer.

2011, the year I would go into the sixth grade. It was that time where I was absolutely, completely, positively oblivious to everything happening around me in the world. Those days when my biggest worries were what I would be eating for lunch and who I could have a “play date” with next. The idea of actually having to do WORK to get far in life was pretty foreign to me, and I wasn’t at all worried about middle school.

It was that summer that was the start of something big.

I spent my time back then doing pretty much nothing. I’d complete my small load of homework, then just sit around and read or watch TV or something. I wasn’t into drawing or writing, nearly as much back then, much less filmmaking and animation. Then along came Sketchfu. The first digital art program I ever used.

It was also through Sketchfu that I met some of my closest friends today.

We transferred our chats to gmail, where we would talk basically 24/7. We found so much common ground, and by the end of that summer I was so happy that I had friends that I could actually call best friends. Yes, it happened that fast.

That middle of the summer also got me started using SketchbookExpress, and that just pushed my interest in digital art even further. Last summer I graduated to PhotoshopCS6, but before that I used SBX for over a year.

But the biggest thing that happened that summer was the start of finding myself.

See, just about a week after school got out, my friends and I started creating this whole imaginary world based on a TV series we all watched. We each had lots of characters, and in that group of characters was one that represented each of us, “persona” if you will. My persona was pretty much exactly like me in interests, personality, appearance, almost every single aspect. There were some differences though. And throughout that summer, I found myself wanting to be more like my character in every way, because she had almost become like a role model to me.

So the summer went by, and slowly but surely I became more and more like this imaginary character in this imaginary world. But the more I did, the more she changed too. She kept evolving, and because of that, I kept evolving, too.

I still have this character today. She is very different from what she was at the start of “the summer.” Heck, even her name changed. I can definitely see more modifications coming her way in the future; after all, if she changed so much in just a couple years, imagine how much she would in a couple more. She won’t be nearly the same person that she was in the past.

But then again, the same can be said for me.

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